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19 July 2018

posted 19 Jul 2018, 10:03 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Jul 2018, 10:14 ]
Titiev's trial launched despite advocate's absence
Today, the state prosecutor has persuaded the Shali City Court to start trying Oyub Titiev in the absence of Ilya Novikov, one of the defenders. Oyub Titiev, the head of the Grozny office of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", was arrested on January 11 on charges of possessing marijuana. He pleaded not guilty and stated that the drugs had been planted on him. The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that yesterday, on July 18, the Shali City Court agreed to postpone the session till today after Titiev's defence declared that the absence of Ilya Novikov was a violation of Titiev's right to defence. Novikov is busy in another trial and did not expect that the Titiev's one would start without the consideration by the Russia's Supreme Court of the complaint about the change of the territorial jurisdiction of the case, the defenders have explained. The advocate Ilya Novikov has failed to appear at the today's session of the Shali City Court; and the judge read out his petition to postpone the session, as Novikov is engaged in another trial and was not able to fly to Grozny today, the press service of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" has reported. [...]

Source: Caucasian Knot [19 July 2018]

Police Search House Of Arrested Crimean Tatar's Home
Police in Ukrain'es Russia-annexed Crimea region have searched the house of detained Crimean Tatar Muslim Aliyev. Aliyev was arrested in 2016 along with five other men for what Russia-controlled authorities said was "membership in the Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamic group," which is banned in Russia but legal in Ukraine. The arrested men and their supporters say the case is politically motivated. Crimea-based human rights group Crimean Solidarity says the search of Aliyev's house was conducted on July 19 as part of a separate investigation of Aliyev's daughter, Gulsum Aliyeva, who is facing charges of inciting ethnic strife. Authorities have not commented on the search. [...]
Source: RFE/RL [19 July 2018]

Annexed Crimea Compiles ‘Enemies of Reunification’ List
Local authorities in Crimea have compiled a list of artists and officials opposed to Moscow’s annexation of the peninsula. Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 after a contested referendum that was unrecognized by the international community. Several Crimean activists opposed to the annexation, including a Ukrainian film director now on hunger strike, face charges that supporters say are politically motivated. Crimea’s Civic Chamber announced on Wednesday that it had drafted a so-called “Crimean Dossier” that includes celebrities and politicians who have publicly spoken out against the annexation. “The figures included in the ‘Crimean Dossier’ spread unreliable information that incites national hatred against Crimea, becoming the main heroes of fake news,” the chamber said. [...]

Source: The Moscow Times [19 July 2018]

Protesters Rally Outside State Duma in Moscow Over Pension Reform
Opposition activists and Muscovites gathered on Thursday to protest the government’s pension reforms that would see a hike in the country’s retirement age.  The plan to raise the pension age was first announced on June 14, the opening day of the World Cup, in what critics say was an attempt to obfuscate the unpopular measure. [...]  Hundreds gathered on Thursday morning in front of the State Duma as deputies discussed the bill, which would see the retirement age for men increase from 60 to 65 years and for women from 55 to 63 years. Protesters wore red ribbons and chanted “shame” at lawmakers passing into the Duma, while deputies from the Communist Party and the Just Russia Party approached the protesters to express their opposition to the bill. [...] Although there were no reports of arrests in Moscow, dozens of police officers watched the crowd from a distance. A protest on Wednesday in central St. Petersburg saw 17 demonstrators arrested, the Media Zona news website reported[...]

Source: The Moscow Times [19 July 2018]

Russian Police to Resume Publishing Rape and Murder News With World Cup Over
Russian police have reportedly been released from a gag order on publishing crime reports days after the World Cup was brought to a close. Reports surfaced on June 14, the eve of the football tournament, that an Interior Ministry directive had ordered its branches to self-censor their usual crime reports. Instead, the law enforcement websites were instructed to share exclusively positive stories, such as successful police operations. The operational reports will resume on July 25, an anonymous Interior Ministry source told the FlashNord news website on Wednesday. [...]

Source: The Moscow Times [19 July 2018]

They terrorize children in Russian-occupied Crimea & then they come to do it again
As feared, it has taken Russia just three days after the end of the World Cup to again revert to political repression in occupied Crimea with the target this time a young woman who has had a serious medical condition since childhood. And her nine-year-old brother who has already seen his father taken away after a similar armed invasion of their home. It seems no criminal charges have yet been laid against 21-year-old Gulsum Alieva, and the search that began at 6.30 am on 19 July and lasted several hours was officially not a search, but an ‘inspection’. The family of political prisoner Muslim Aliev had every reason to not notice any major difference when a large contingent of armed and masked men turned up at their home in Verkhnya Kutuzovka. Phones and other technology were removed, and Gulsum Alieva was taken away for interrogation.  Lawyer Edem Semedlyaev arrived early at the home but was not admitted, a flagrant breach of the law that has become standard over the last four years. Gulsum Alieva has been active over the last two years in the Crimean Solidarity civic initiative which helps political prisoners and their families and circulates information about the ongoing spiral of repression in Crimea. [...]

Source: Human Rights in Ukraine [19 July 2018]

State Duma adopts bill extending disciplinary sanctions against judges
A bill extending disciplinary sanctions against judges has passed its third and final reading in the State Duma. The bill envisages introducing such punishment as reduction of judges in qualification category for serious disciplinary offenses. This disciplinary penalty would allow qualification board of judges to take disciplinary actions against judges more accurately and differentiate liability for committed violations depending on the situation. Amendments are proposed to the laws On the Status of Judges in the Russian Federation and On Bodies of the Judiciary in the Russian Federation. They are aimed at the shift in the role of court chairmen in judge appointment and improvement of the order of judges’ disciplinary responsibility, an explanatory note to the bill reads. [...]

Source: RAPSI [19 July 2018]